FROM the moment I first clapped eyes on the big round balls in Reddacliff Place at the river end of the Queen Street Mall, I was fascinated.
They appear to be made of old vegetable steamers of the type that fitted neatly into a saucepan so three different types of vegetables could be cooked at the same time.
Now I’ve found out that this is not surprising – because they are!
They come in different sizes between 1.3m and 2.6m diameter and are scattered randomly as though a giant has been playing marbles.
A little bit of research reveals that they really are made from thousands of copies of World War II steamers and have been welded into geodesic spheres – the same pattern as a soccer ball.
Not surprisingly, the work is called Steam.
There are 15 of them and they were rolled into place at the end of 2006.
The artist, Donna Marcus, was commissioned to make them under the State Government’s Public Artworks program and she describes her work as meaning “to evoke a sense of playfulness, like someone has just rolled them in to wittily describe the space as a place for interaction and contemplation”.
Apparently she originally planned for mist to come out of them to make a water feature but good old Queensland water restrictions put an end to that.
I’ve heard that they are filled with coloured florescent lights for night-time display but haven’t got down there at night yet to see for myself. Watch this space. That adventure is yet to come and the photos will go up in due course.